Before you start...
Get a leash. As a rule, during housebreaking training, you should always take your puppy out on a leash - even within a fenced in yard. This way, you can better control him during training sessions and can reel him in quickly if he decides to try to turn training time into playtime! This will also teach him the concept of "when the leash is on, it's ok to make" - versus when the leash is off while you're inside your home.
Wrap your TinkleBellz’s hanging strap tightly around the inside knob of the door that your dog uses to go outside. If he uses more than one door, you should hang TinkleBellz on those doors, as well.
Decide on a “Potty Command”
We suggest the plain and simple: "Let’s go make!" - but any enthusiastic "potty time" mantra will do! Note: Be sure that everyone in your household uses the same command, as consistency is vital.
We feel the best time to start training is first thing in the morning when you know your dog really has to make! While stating your "Potty Command", take your pup’s front paw and gently swat it against the TinkleBellz. Since he will need to make urgently, only guide him to ring the bells a couple of quick times. While doing this, give him words of encouragement such as: “Good boy, good bells” and “Ring the bells, let’s go make!” Note: if your dog is so tiny that he can’t reach the bells while standing, gently pop him up onto his back legs and guide a front paw to the bells.
DO NOT give him treats at this time! You don’t want to accidentally train your pup to think that ringing the bell is a “trick”! Only AFTER he goes out to make (and actually makes!) do you then reward him with a treat. Again, no treat unless he actually relieves himself! Now, when he does relieve himself, show him how happy you are by using positive words in an excited tone of voice. Be sure to give him his treat right then and there - versus waiting until you get inside. Treat tip: use soft puppy training treats. Break them into tiny bits so he gets just a little taste every time he goes potty.
Repeat the above training method every time you take him out to make. Be consistent and diligent with this training, and your puppy will soon be ringing the bells by himself! Remember, the more disciplined YOU are, the more successful this training program will be!
It’s also critical that you continue to praise him when he rings the TinkleBellz, as it will further reinforce this positive style of communicating his needs. Some pups catch on in days, while others take longer - even up to 4 weeks. Be patient and, again, use lots of positive reinforcement.
* If you have more than one exit door, you will need bells for those doors, too. Also, be sure to purchase a set of TinkleBellz to take on the road to Grandma’s house or even to a hotel room! Immediately show your dog where you've hung his bells. Then he will know, wherever the bells are hanging, is the door he will use to go outside to make.
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